Which MMA Prospects Have Not Panned Out in 2013?
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The landscape of mixed martial arts evolves on a daily basis, and 2013 has been no exception. Prominent fighters of years past start to fall to the wayside while young lions climb their way to the top of the mountain.
Each year, fans watch the new generation of fighters look to establish their dominance inside the Octagon. Some will assert themselves and become vital players in their division, while others prove themselves to be little more than the product of hype.
On the back of Erick Silva's knockout loss to Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night 29, it is important to check in on the progress of some of MMA's top prospects so far this year.
Here is a look at five top prospects who haven't panned out in 2013.
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Hawaiian native Max Holloway entered the UFC on short notice by accepting a bout against Dustin Poirier. "Blessed" came up short, but spent the rest of 2012 improving his Zuffa record to 3-1.
Holloway earned the biggest win of his career at the end of 2012 when he defeated Leonard Garcia via decision only weeks after his 21st birthday.
As a featherweight to watch, Holloway was paired up with other exciting fighters at 145 pounds like Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor. Unfortunately for the warrior from Waianae, he was unable to defeat either man and holds an 0-2 mark in 2013.
BAMMA sensation Chris Beal entered 2013 with a flawless record of 7-0 and a reputation for being both as quick and powerful as a bolt of lightning.
The 28-year-old bantamweight entered the Ultimate Fighter house this year and was the first pick for Team Rousey. He also became the first male eliminated from the competition when he was outboxed and submitted by Chris Holdsworth in Episode 3.
While there are several fighters with thriving careers who lost in the first round of The Ultimate Fighter tournament (Court McGee, Matt Riddle, Steven Siler, Tom Lawlor), it is hard to suggest that this quick loss won't affect Beal's career in a negative way.
Last year, Serra/Longo fighter Costa Philippou improved his record as a UFC middleweight to 5-0 when he scored a TKO victory over world-ranked fighter Tim Boetsch. The victory moved the "Cyprus Slugger" into the rankings as the No. 7 middleweight in the UFC.
Philippou dodged a bullet when he was forced out of a May matchup against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. Unfortunately, he didn't fare so well against replacement opponent Francis Carmont either.
At UFC 165, Philippou was soundly defeated by Carmont, who took down the Greek Cypriot at will. Philippou lost every minute of the one-sided matchup, which was scored 30-26 by one of the judges.
Bantamweight Tyson Nam shocked the world last summer when he knocked out reigning Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas at a Shooto event in only 96 seconds. That victory catapulted the Oregon native onto the radar of every fighting organization in the world.
After an interesting contract dispute, Nam eventually signed on with the World Series of Fighting. He competed at the organization's sophomore event where he took on fellow prospect Marlon Moraes.
It took little time for Moraes to out Nam on ice, as he scored a head kick knockout within three minutes of the first round. Nam has not competed since the March event.
Considering that Erick Silva had a 2-2 record in the UFC heading into 2013, he didn't seem like much of a prospect on paper. However, both losses on that record deserve to be discussed before judgment can be passed.
Silva's first loss came via DQ when Mario Yamasaki made a preposterous call at UFC 142. The boneheaded decision came following a 29-second knockout from the Brazilian.
The second loss came after a hard-fought decision against Jon Fitch, who had been a Top 10 welterweight for several years. At one point, Silva had locked in a rear-naked choke against the crafty veteran.
OK. Now that we are past the pre-text, we can talk about Silva's 2013.
"Indio" returned to his brutal ways of winning in mid-2013 when he mauled Jason High at UFC on Fuel TV 10. With the victory, Silva was granted another opportunity to prove himself against a highly-regarded member of the welterweight division: Dong Hyun Kim.
A win over Kim would have established Silva as a true threat at 170 pounds. After all, the only loss Kim had ever suffered (outside of a freak injury) came against future champion Carlos Condit.
Pushed as the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 29, Kim and Silva met on Wednesday night in Brazil. The affair featured heavy grappling in the early goings, as well as a successful flurry that made it look as if Silva would stop his Korean foe.
And then it happened.
In the blink of an eye, Kim threw a looping left hook that knocked Silva out cold. Before the referee was able to step in and stop the action, Kim dove on his felled opponent and delivered one of the most vicious hammer fists that the sport has ever seen.
With the loss, Erick Silva now holds a UFC record of 3-3 and has gone 0-2 against opponents ranked in the UFC's top 20.